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RAYFORD BRENT ROBINSON v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

MAY 20, 1987

RAYFORD BRENT ROBINSON
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, P.J., DAN LEE AND SULLIVAN, JJ.

SULLIVAN, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

On March 17, 1985 Rayford Brent Robinson was tried and found guilty of distribution of a controlled substance. Robinson was sentenced to a term of fifteen (15) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

In February, 1983 Alvin Eubanks, a two time loser in drug related offenses was arrested for the third time. Instead of taking this habitual drug offender off our streets, the narcotic agents agreed to recommend that his records be passed to the files

 in return for his cooperation. This peculiar view of law enforcement has become all too familiar in drug related cases.

 At any rate, Eubanks, the multiple offender Mississippian, went to Louisiana and arranged a drug deal with Robinson, to take place at the King's Inn, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Thereafter, and in accord with the plan of Eubanks and the narcotics officers, two ounces of cocaine was imported from Louisiana into Mississippi to be exchanged for marijuana. Narcotic agents had rented the room at the King's Inn for the purpose of doing the dope deal and putting Robinson in jail. Present in the room with Robinson at the time of his arrest were two narcotic agents, Dean Shepard and David Jones, and the ubiquitous Mr. Eubanks.

 Unhappy at the prospect of spending fifteen years in Mississippi courtesy of the unencumbered Mr. Eubanks, and aggrieved at the ruling of the trial court, Robinson has assigned two errors on this appeal.

 WAS IT ERROR TO REFUSE ROBINSON'S MOTION FOR DIRECTED VERDICT ?

 Robinson argues that he was entitled to a directed verdict because he established unrebutted evidence of entrapment. The prosecution argues, and indeed, the record reflects that there was conflicting evidence on the question of entrapment. In such circumstances the trial court was not in error in refusing to grant a directed verdict.

 Dean Shepard, of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, testified that he witnessed all the telephone calls between Eubanks and Robinson and that all the calls were taped, and made from Shepard's office. Robinson was to exchange two ounces of cocaine with Eubanks and the two agents for twenty (20) pounds of marijuana. Both items are valued at $7,000.00. It was to be a straight up trade, with no boot.

 Shepard said he was present when Eubanks was told by Robinson via telephone that the quality of the cocaine was excellent and that the weight was good, and that the cocaine was coming through Robinson's source. Shortly thereafter Robinson arrived at the King's Inn room and threw a brown paper bag containing the cocaine on the bed. Shepard weighed each packet of white powder, then gave them to Agent David Jones, who went into the bathroom to test the substance.

 Shepard claims that Robinson asked that twenty pounds of marijuana be" fronted "to him. When Robinson said he was going to get the saw and cut the bale of marijuana, Shepard arrested him. Lt. Shepard also testified that he knew of no inducements or threats made in order to get Robinson to make the statements he

 made at the hotel room or on any of the tape recordings.

 David Jones, a narcotics officer with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, gave testimony that substantially corroborated the testimony of Lt. Shepard.

 Eubanks, the habitual drug offender and informer for the narcotics officers, testified that he knew Robinson through prior drug deals. Eubanks testified that he called Robinson from Shepard's office and then went to Robinson's New Orleans apartment. Eubanks said that Robinson wanted to swap some cocaine for some" weed "because his connection was out of" weed ". Eubanks denied that he threathened, assaulted, or coerced Robinson into the deal nor did he do anything that caused Mrs. Robinson to flee from him in tears. Eubanks also denied that he told Robinson he had to help him because his (Eubanks) life was on the line. Eubanks also ...


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